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Ryan's Fine Grocer Opens in Fort Worth With a $28 Lobster Roll and Caviar Samplers

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[Photos: Malcolm Mayhew/EDFW]

Residents of Fort Worth's uber-hip Near Southside neighborhood finally received a long-awaited wish today: A year in the works, Ryan's Fine Grocer & Delicatessen officially opened at 815 West Magnolia Avenue.

One of the main gripes residents have made about the area, heavily populated by lauded restaurants like Ellerbe Fine Foods and Shinjuku Station but light on retail, is that there's not a nearby grocer.

"We really wanted to do something that would benefit the community," says Brittany Ryan, who runs Ryan's with her brother Hunter. "This idea popped into our heads to do a local grocery store. To us, it just made sense. This is a very communal area. People who live here can now walk to the store."

Ryan's also has a small restaurant, which opened yesterday with enough indoor/outdoor seating to accommodate about 80 people. The menu is dominated by sandwiches (made with house-smoked/cured meats) and salads, ranging from a $8 BLT, dressed with bacon lardons, a soft-poached egg and housemade Ranch dressing, to a $28 lobster roll. Repeat: A $28 DOLLAR LOBSTER ROLL.

"It's a pound and a quarter of Maine lobster, basically a full lobster," says Hunter, who serves as the grocery store's butcher (sis Brit runs front of house). "It's meat from the tails, knuckles, claws, covered in yuzu crème fraiche and served on a French roll. We've already sold six or seven."

Other sandwiches – a turkey and chicken club, a ham and brie, an outstanding Reuben topped with pickled slaw - are in the $10-$12 range.

Shareable plates include a cheese and charcuterie plate; a "seafood parade" with lobster, oysters, Jonah crab claws and prawns; and a caviar sampler. Wine in the restaurant is sold by the glass, beer by the bottle. The 3,000-square-foot grocery store features a small deli offering cut-to-order meat, as well as fresh fish and poultry; a produce area; beer and wine; and three aisles of groceries.

Built in 1953, the building was refurbished by known Fort Worth architecture Ray Boothe with sleek, urban lighting, painted concrete floors and floor to ceiling windows. On the front and back patios are tables made from repurposed wood pallets, the handiwork of Fort Worth-based company Pallet Smart.

—Malcolm Mayhew

· Ryan's Fine Grocer & Delicatessen [Official]